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Presidential Office reiterates stance on four new flight paths


Taiwan’s Presidential Office has reiterated its stance on China’s unilateral decision to start four new flight paths that approach the median line of the Taiwan Strait.


Presidential Office spokesperson Sidney Lin on Monday accused China of altering the cross-strait status quo and jeopardizing regional safety and security. Lin said that China’s starting the new flight routes without consultation with Taiwan has posed a threat to aviation safety.


“The government must insist on and is responsible for the safety and rights of Taiwanese citizens travelling across the Taiwan Strait," said Lin. "Therefore, we call on China to take steps to address the issue. The two sides should hold technical consultations as soon as possible based on an agreement reached in 2015, so as to mitigate the negative impact on regional stability, cross-strait relations and aviation safety.”


Lin said aviation safety is a basic right as well as an international responsibility.


Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Katherine Chang said that while Taiwan has suspended its approval to two Chinese airlines for additional flights along those routes during the Lunar New Year holiday, the government welcomes applications by other Chinese airlines. She said that’s because it’s important for Taiwanese people based in China to return home for the holidays.